The delicate skin of the eyelid region can be highly vulnerable to the damaging effects of the natural aging process, sun damage and other environmental factors. They can cause negative aesthetic changes to the upper and lower eyelids.
The term blepharoplasty refers to the surgical procedure performed to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty procedures can address and correct many problematic aesthetic issues impacting the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids, including:
- Swollen upper eyelid appearance
- Upper eyelid ptosis (sagging, drooping), which can change the natural contour of the upper eyelid, and can potentially impair the patient’s vision
- Wrinkles and creases in the lower eyelid region
- Under-eye bags or puffiness
- Lower eyelid drooping resulting in scleral show (white showing below the colored region of the eye)
The goal of eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is to treat and correct problematic aesthetic issues pertaining to the upper and/or lower eyelids by lifting and tightening the skin and, in some cases, the musculature adjacent to the eyelid area. During the blepharoplasty procedure, excess fat and skin are removed and repositioned to enhance eyelid symmetry and definition. There are three primary types of blepharoplasty surgery:
- What is Upper Eyelid Lift (Upper Blepharoplasty)? During this procedure, if present in excess, fat deposits are repositioned, excess skin is removed and eyelid muscles can be tightened through an incision made within the natural crease of the upper eyelid.
- What is Lower Eyelid Lift (Lower Blepharoplasty): this technique involves the removal of surplus skin in the lower eyelid region through a small incision made just below the lower lash line. Excess fat deposits can also be repositioned or removed.
- What is Transconjunctival Lower Eyelid Surgery (Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty)? This procedure is an alternative technique to treat and correct aesthetic issues of the lower eyelid, and involves the removal of excess lower eyelid herniated peri-orbital fat through a small incision made inside the lower eyelid.
After selecting the appropriate anesthetic choice for your surgery (intravenous sedation or general anesthesia), and evaluating your facial anatomy and surgical goals, Dr. Sinno will help you to select the appropriate blepharoplasty technique.
Blepharoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient procedure, with an average recovery period of approximately one week. Following your eyelid surgery, you will be advised to wear darkly tinted sunglasses, and to practice proper skin protection in order to facilitate the healing process. Pain medication, cold compresses and eye ointments can be used to minimize any post-surgical bruising, irritation, swelling and dry eyes.
Day SurgeryEyelid surgery generally takes one hour, after which, you may be released (depending on your medical condition and health state) to a friend or family member and may return home to continue your recovery.
When do the bandages come off after an eyelid surgery?You will have a follow-up visit with Dr. Sinno typically around one week after your eyelid surgery. At this time, you will be able to see the initial aesthetic enhancements to the shape and position of your eyes. These results should continue to improve over the next six weeks, as any residual swelling abates. Eyelid surgery patients typically return to work after seven to ten days, although you will be advised to limit strenuous activities for the next few weeks.
When can I shower and wash after eyelid surgery?The bandages usually are removed within a week after surgery. These include small steri-strips that cover the incisions. Dr. Sinno recommends that all bandages should remain dry and clean after your surgery until your first follow-up appointment. Showers can be taken, but no pressure should be applied on the eyelids.
White non-scented shampoo and soap are recommended to be used along with running water on the incisions after the bandages are removed and when given medical authorization to do so.
When can I resume normal activity and exercise after eyelid surgery?You will be advised to refrain from rubbing the eyes for at least six weeks following your eyelid procedure.
Dr. Sinno recommends that patients refrain from all activities that may increase their heart rate or blood pressure including exercise, sexual activity, stressful situations, etc. during the first post-operative week.
However, it is recommended that patients walk and perform their usual activities within the limitation of the medical advice given and their tolerance to their comfort. No lifting more than 10 lbs. (4 kg) is recommended for at least two weeks after the surgery.
Sleeping with the head elevated is recommended for the first week after surgery to help decrease the post-operative swelling.
When can I drive after eyelid surgery?It is recommended that patients do not drive when taking narcotic pain medications and when having bulky dressings that may hinder their normal reflexes and reactivity.
General HealingYou may experience some swelling and bruising that will peak two to three days after your surgery, which usually subsides within two to six weeks. Post-operative swelling, pain, bruising and duration may differ depending on the patient and extent of the eyelid surgery.
You will be expected to be able to see visible aesthetic improvements in your eyelids immediately following your surgery. These results should continue to progress over the following weeks, as the incision site heals and the swelling decreases. Swelling can take six weeks to subside. Dr. Sinno advises his patients that final results should be expected at the one year point post-operative period, when all scars and incisions should be mature.
All medical and surgical procedures have inherent risks and potential complications associated with them. It is imperative that you understand the potential risks, complications and consequences that can arise after the medical or surgical procedure you undertake. This understanding will better allow you to be able to provide informed consent based on the comparison to the potential benefit of the desired procedure.
Although the materialization of inherent risks is rare and developing complications is unlikely, these are real events that can occur. Dr. Sinno will help you understand the risk/benefit profile of your desired procedure.